Sunday, November 26, 2006

Should prom be casual?

I received a comment from Regina in NY and thought her question merited a response as a post because others may have the same thoughts...

I wanted to thank you and I have a question. I bought your book for our prom committee hoping that it would make our job easier. In fact, you gave me so many ideas, I think our collective heads will be swimming when I introduce the group to your book during our next meeting. What a great resource this will be as we move along this uncharted path, you've made our job so much easier, it doesn't look like you've missed anything. Thank you very much.

My question is this. Our school is a small inner-city high school where the majority of the parents are not well off. One of the concerns that the committee has is that a lot of the seniors may not go to the prom because they can't afford the dresses and all that goes with a modern prom. Do you think it would be acceptable to make the prom casual? We're afraid that the cost to attend may keep a lot of kids home.

What an insightful question. Thank YOU for buying my book, and taking the time to ask such an important question. I'm sure this is something that has been considered by many schools. These days, prom expenses are something that folks from all but the highest income levels must wrestle with - how much do you spend on your teenager's prom? A family does not need to be "financially disadvantaged" to feel the bite of prom expenses.

Over the past few decades, the prom in many areas has evolved from an annual semi-formal dance to a Hollywood-style red carpet ceremony. What was once just a reason to dress-up and socialize has become a major expensive affair. As I mention on the website and in my book, some affluent schools now spend six-figures on prom party planners alone. The words we associate with the prom create an expectation in most people's minds. Words like princess, prom queen, limos, Cinderella, corsage, prom gowns and tuxedos - the mind pictures these words create intensify the significance of the word 'prom'.

Should your committee consider making the prom a casual affair to save money? Certainly that is an option, but in my opinion, that could open the door to other issues. The least of which is that if the magnitude of the prom is diminished, attendance may suffer more than it might from the financial reasons. In addition, peer pressures could intensify if some teens dress casually and others choose to 'dress to the nines'.

There may be another solution. You may not be aware of this, but there are hundreds of organizations all over the country that obtain 'gently worn' prom dresses, tuxedos and accessories and offer them to students whose financial situation could prevent them from attending their school's prom. Typically, students need only produce a high school ID to qualify. These clothes and accessories are either free or extremely affordable. Some of these organizations have outfitted thousands of students over the years.

In keeping with my mission of offering alternative solutions to prom related issues, our webmaster has compiled what may be the most definitive list of free or low-cost prom apparel organizations. We link this from the "Resource" area of our website. Hopefully, one of these "Fairy Godmother" organizations is near enough to your area to be the solution to this problem. I wish you well with your prom and the party your committee is planning.


Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Press Release 11/22/06

After Prom Party Guide aims to prevent prom night tragedies

A "Fast Start" approach to planning an after prom party for high school seniors presented as an instant download eBook. How to make prom night one to remember - not a tragic night to forget.

KALISPELL, MT―November 21, 2006― The high school senior prom is supposed to be one of the happiest days of our children's life, but for too many kids it turns into a horrible tragedy. Drugs, alcohol and a "coming-of-age tradition" of rowdy parties usually means that some kids will end their revelry in police custody or with hangovers, and far too many vehicle accidents - or worse.

According to the U.S. Dept. of Transportation, on a typical prom weekend, 48 American teenagers are killed in vehicle crashes and 40 percent of the deaths are alcohol-related. Lori Heatherington discovered those shocking facts soon after her daughter announced she had been asked to the senior prom, and the topic of an After Prom party was discussed.

After discovering the DOT statistics, and learning that her daughter's school was making no provisions for an After Prom event, Lori decided to get organized and make something happen. Her remarkable efforts resulted in an After Prom party that was more appealing to the students than engaging in other potentially dangerous activities. The party was such a huge success that the school requested that Lori pass on her notes, outline and plan so that it could be used in upcoming years.

Heatherington realized that parents and schools across the country could benefit from her hard won knowledge, so at the urging of other parents, she compiled her exhaustive notes into a comprehensive how to guide. The 'After Prom Party Guide' is a step-by-step instruction manual for parents and school organizations (PTAs, PTOs) who want to know how to plan a compelling alternative to non-sanctioned activities after the prom.

The After Prom Party Guide is a "Fast Start", in-depth blueprint that covers everything from facility selection and fundraising to meeting agendas, liability and security issues, decorating, party themes and every related topic. Also included are form letters, checklists and even a creative telemarketing script to be used when requesting donations from businesses. Heatherington offers tips on how to win over the teenagers by promising and delivering a fun-filled and entertaining party. The 'After Prom Party Planning Handbook' sells for $24.97 and is available for immediate download from her website,

About After

After™ is owned and operated by Lori Heatherington, author, mom and owner of a small business. Lori holds a marketing degree from Dallas Baptist University in Dallas, Texas. She was involved in one of the first ISPs in the country and that experience prompted her to co-author her first book, which was published by Macmillan entitled, "The Complete Small Business Internet Guide". Lori currently works full-time for the Humane Society of Northwest Montana as Administrative Director.

Additional information ISBN: 1-4276-1231-5

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Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Why Plan an After Prom Party

From the time I enrolled my daughter in elementary school it seemed that the world was out to ruin her innocence.

Her know-it-all six year old friends with older brothers and sisters shared the world’s reality with her on a daily basis. And I, who was happy living in the land of talking stuffed animals, was in no hurry to debate the concept of Santa Claus.

Unfortunately, that age of innocence doesn’t last long enough. Whether we like it or not, reality plops itself on the sofa in our living room and sits there while our children struggle through adolescence. About the time that we’re able to find some common ground, they’re talking to us about claiming their independence and graduating from high school.

This is an excerpt from an article I wrote for publication. Read the entire article here...

Saturday, November 11, 2006

A Significant Question

I was speaking with a friend yesterday regarding the announcement of my new book, the “After Prom Party Guide”. I was telling her how excited I was and about the wonderful comments I was already receiving from people. I just couldn’t believe that in less than two days, people were already commenting about my book. It is so gratifying to hear that others are seeing the value in this and appreciate all the effort that went into it.

Out of the blue, my friend asked me a question that I had not seriously considered (at least on a conscious level) up to this point. She asked, “What is the one thing you want someone to get from reading your book”?

Wow, that really made me think… Obviously, I want people to use the guide to help them plan and stage an event that keeps teenagers off the street during this most dangerous night of their lives. I want them to see the tips and suggestions I have about every topic. I want them to learn how to raise the money, create awareness, protect themselves and their organization from liability issues and I would hope that people learn something from every page…

After pondering her question, I told her that to me… “people will see the value in this book when they put it down and say something like…

I didn’t know that or...
I never thought about those things”

With so many things in life, it is often that “ONE” idea that makes an impact or changes how we do something or look at things. I guess I want people to read my book and come away with knowledge that they didn’t know before reading the After Prom Party Guide. THAT is what I want people to get from this book

Thursday, November 09, 2006

After Prom Party Guide Now Available

After a comprehensive rewrite and months of exhaustive research and interviews, Version 2 of the After Prom Party Guide has been released. It is now available for immediate download.

In addition to a detailed course of action, specifics about what to do, how to do it, where to go for help and how to finance, promote and stage an after prom party, the book includes everything from your first meeting agenda, party theme ideas to sample solicitation letters.

This powerful new eBook is an all-encompassing "how to" instruction manual for staging an event that will have the kids talking for months afterwards. BUT most of all, this is a solution to keeping kids safe on one of the most dangerous nights of their lives.

What's more, this is about helping you save time, money and frustration. The guide covers every conceivable facet of planning, organizing, promoting and producing your event. Please visit our main website and learn more about this new eBook, the After Prom Party Guide !